Elder Law and MS Client

Video MS Image

Elder law attorneys are in the business of helping vulnerable clients of all ages.  The majority of an elder law attorney’s clients are usually older adults (seniors).  Seniors are at risk for not having enough money to pay the high costs of housing, medical, and long term care.  Seniors frequently run into legal challenges due to incapacity.  They often need help managing money, paying bills, getting to the doctors, and completing everyday tasks.  Elder law attorneys apply the law, create legal documents, and use the courts to protect the rights of seniors and also to qualify seniors for financial assistance (Medicare, Medicaid assistance, and VA benefits).  

Elder law attorneys also help younger individuals who are vulnerable due to disabilities or medical challenges.  Consider the situation of a 40-year-old individual diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  That individual will face many of the same challenges and vulnerabilities as a much older senior.  An elder law attorney’s special skills can therefore help an individual diagnosed with MS (and their families) make sense of the complex legal and planning issues caused by MS. These issues include paying for long-term care in the home, planning for incapacity, locating personal assistance services, and qualifying for financial assistance through government programs.  

We want to share a series of videos (5 total) that demonstrate how Elder Law attorneys can help those with MS.  The first video focuses on How Elder and Special Needs Law Attorneys Can Help People Diagnosed with MS.  These videos were produced through the collaborative efforts of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and Stetson University College of Law.  The videos will be posted on successive days.  Or you can go directly here to watch them all at once. 

The elder law team at CMDA is experienced in helping vulnerable clients of every age.  We are available to assist younger individuals dealing with a disability or debilitating illness such as MS.  We help our clients maintain quality of life and preserving independence for as long as possible. We hope you find value from these videos.  We also welcome your feedback.  Contact Gene at CMDA’s Livonia office by calling (734) 261-2400 or by email at nrichards@cmda-law.com.    


How to Respond When a Senior with Dementia Insists on “Going Home”

patient caregiver photoIt is common for seniors living with dementia to exclaim “I want to go home!”  That is a reasonable request when a senior is temporarily staying in the hospital, rehabbing in a nursing home or shortly after moving to a new location.   An encouraging reminder that the situation is temporary or explaining why the senior is away from home will often ease the senior’s frustration.

Sometimes, however, a senior’s insistence on returning home turns into a crisis that is not easily resolved.  This usually occurs when the senior IS already at home but cannot grasp, or will not accept, that reality.   Once the senior fixates on the perceived need, the stress levels for everyone involved ratchet ever higher as the demands to “return home” increase in frequency and emotional intensity.  Ignoring the demands only intensify the senior’s distress.  Similarly, patient explanations and logical arguments do nothing to calm the senior’s frustration.

A better way to deal with an “I want to go home” crisis is to use creative responses that redirect the senior to a calm state of mind.  Please click on the link below to learn more about the three kind responses to offer a senior who repetitively asks to go home:

3 Ways to Respond When Someone with Alzheimer’s Says I Want to Go Home

To all the caregivers out there – you truly are heroes!  Attorneys in CMDA’s elder law and estate planning practice group offer a broad range of elder law and estate planning services to our clients. Each client is unique, and we take the time to understand our clients’ needs and goals and designs practical, customized solutions.

Norman E. Richards (Gene) focuses his practice on estate planning and elder law.  He assists clients with the development of customized estate plans to address their specific needs, including family owned businesses, senior adults concerned about long term care needs, and special needs trusts for children with special needs.  He may be reached at (734) 261-2400 or nrichards@cmda-law.com

Elvis is in the Building

Gene and Elvis

The law firm of Cummings, McClorey, Davis & Acho, P.L.C. provided sponsorship at the recent Mother’s Day Luncheon at the Waterford Senior Center.  Gene Richards, a partner in our Firm, enjoyed talking with guests on the topics of estate planning and elder law.  He also enjoyed listening to the spectacular sounds of Elvis Presley (as performed by Ron Short).

Gene, along with Certified Elder Law Attorney Jim Schuster, will be back at the Waterford Senior Center on Tuesday, June 6 at 10 a.m. to give a presentation on “Avoiding the Top Ten Mistakes that will Disqualify You from Receiving Medicaid or VA Benefits.” The attorneys will share insightful and practical ways to avoid the common mistakes that disqualify people from Medicaid and Veterans benefits. 

To register for the seminar, please contact Rita Turner at (734) 261-2400 or rturner@cmda-law.com.

Elder Law Attorney Attends Gala Event


The law firm of Cummings, McClorey, Davis & Acho, P.L.C. proudly provided sponsorship for the 12th Annual Mother and Daughter Fashion Show and Gala put on by the Mother of God Chaldean Catholic Church.  Gene Richards, a partner in our Firm, along with his assistant, Rita, enjoyed mingling and talking with guests at the Firm’s booth on the topics of estate planning and elder law.  Gene may be reached at (734) 261-2400 or nrichards@cmda-law.com.

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